Ladislav Benesch o svojem spomeniškovarstvenem delu


  • Katja Mahnič Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta


Ključne besede:

Ladislav Benesch, kulturna dediščina, spomeniško varstvo


Ladislav Benesch might raise the interest of historians either in the context of history of the Austro-Hungarian army or within the history of nineteenth-century landscape painting. However, art history has paid little attention to Benesch. The literature offers scant information on his life and work as a landscape painter, captured in short entries in various biographical and art encyclopedias. Most of these texts mention Benesch’s activity in preserving cultural heritage. In most cases, however, this information merely notes his role as a correspondent for the K. k. Zentralkommission für Erforschung und Erhaltung der Kunst-und Historische Denkmale (Austro-Hungarian Central Committee for the Study and Preservation of Artistic and Historical Monuments) and/or his activity as a collector. Benesch’s activity in cultural heritage was addressed more extensively thirty years ago by two Slovenian researchers, Grozdana Kozak and Prvenka Turk. According to them, he was engaged in various activities related to preserving cultural heritage, but without any well-defined research or any other strategy. Turk in particular introduces Benesch as an occasional or more-or-less accidental collector. She argues that the value of his work lies mainly in what he managed to collect: the artifacts, as well as the documentary information pertaining to them. By emphasizing merely this part of his activity, she largely denies him the desire, and perhaps even the capacity, to understand the subject he was engaged in his whole life. In 1913 Benesch gave a speech to members of the Gesellschaft der Kunstfreunde (Society of Friends of Art) in Vienna. His speech described how he had copied the frescoes in the old chapel of Auersperg Castle a quarter of a century earlier. This speech is still preserved in typescript. A careful reading of it and an analysis of the content, structure, and vocabulary used by the author offers valuable insight into Benesch’s understanding of his own activity in preserving cultural heritage, and can be compared to the assessment of his work formulated by the profession. In his speech, Benesch described much more than only his stay at Auersperg Castle and how he copied the frescoes in its chapel. The title theme of the speech served him merely as a broad framework for presenting his own activity in cultural heritage. Benesch did not introduce himself to his audience only as a restoration specialist whose interest was focused merely on the physical side of conserving and preserving cultural heritage objects. As his own words attest, his desire was to also understand the objects that he occupied himself with. He was aware of the value of his findings and he wanted to share them with the widest general audience. The fact remains that Benesch had no formal education in any historical discipline. However, I believe that this mere fact should not be the decisive or even exclusive criterion for evaluating his eff orts in preserving cultural heritage. What should serve as a basis for assessing his activity in cultural heritage is his understanding of the subject itself and the methods he used.


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Biografija avtorja

Katja Mahnič , Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta

Katja Mahnič je docentka na Oddelku za umetnostno zgodovino Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani. Njena predavanja pokrivajo področja teorije in metodologije umetnostne zgodovine ter muzeologije. Raziskovalno se ukvarja s podobo kot zgodovinskim virom, materialno kulturo in problemi, vezanimi na preučevanje kulturne dediščine. Od leta 2008 je vključena v raziskovalni program Predmet kot reprezentanca: okus, ugled, moč (raziskave materialne kulture na Slovenskem), ki poteka v sodelovanju Narodnega muzeja Slovenije in Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani.




Kako citirati

Mahnič , K. . (2011). Ladislav Benesch o svojem spomeniškovarstvenem delu . Ars & Humanitas, 5(2), 211–231.